Our parents will tell us all the same thing: You can be anything you want to be, as long as you put your full body and mind to that task.
I want this to go on record. There is actually something you cannot be, because if you are not born with the skill, you will never have it. It’s not something that can be learned. You are born with the instinct and develop this sensibility from there. What is this great magical thing that can’t be learned? Two words: Work Ethic.
It sounds so simple, doesn’t it? Work ethic…like, put your nose to the grindstone and get the job done. Pretty easy, right?
Unfortunately, some people were not born with the blessed trait.
I know for a fact I grew up with a pretty great work ethic. That’s what happens when you’re raised on a dairy farm from the age of -2. Seriously, in order to get everything done, everybody has to pitch in, and if no one does their part, I will have a very angry father to deal with later on. If I don’t do my share of the work, I’ll be grounded, not allowed to go out to a friend’s bonfire on Friday night, or I’ll be sentenced to drive tractor for picking rock the entire weekend. It may not sound awful, but you’ll feel differently when you’ve been sitting behind the same tractors’ steering wheel for 8 straight hours in 30 degree weather barely plodding along at 5 miles per hour. You will want to be anywhere, absolutely anywhere, but where you are in that moment. (It doesn’t help that at this point in your life, you hate the taste of coffee, which is the only hot beverage in the thermos your mom sent along with you…you know, to keep you and your dad warm. Good intentions…but not entirely thought through.)
Eventually, as I grew up, I began to enjoy the work I was doing. I began to realize there were people out there who couldn’t do the physical actions I was performing (yes, this is an “Ah-ha!” moment for me in my lifetime). Shoveling feed, carrying full-to-the-brim 5 gallon pails of heavy and wet feed, bending constantly to put the milkers on the cows, tossing hay bales around like they’re nothing…it takes more muscle than you think.
And if you think that’s nothing, I invite you to work for a week at my parent’s farm…we’ll see how you’re feeling after 24 hours of good, hard honest labor.
Anyways, the point I’m trying to make here is that this work ethic transferred over into other areas of my life. It wasn’t just a tactic I used to avoid getting in trouble and to be able to keep my plans on the weekends with my friends.
It crossed over into my athletics. I always won the hardest worker awards. Most Hustle, Best Defensive Player, Most Improved Player, All Conference, Hardest Server, Best Attack at the Net…I’m pretty sure I won every award at least once, and I’m not saying this to brag. I’m saying this because I earned each and every one of those awards. I worked my tail off, especially when it came to tennis. Not so much with basketball, but there are so many political reasons behind that reason, I don’t want to get into it unless we’re bashing politicians.
In the end, I never thought I was good enough. I would stay and work on my serve even after practice was long over. I needed to develop a weapon against opponents I knew I would face who had tricks of their own. While I could rally with them and wait for them to screw up, I also knew I needed a quick advantage. Usually, that meant the serve needed to be good. I couldn’t master the spin just right, so I had one thing left in my arsenal and it was pure strength. The harder I could make my serve and the better I could place it, the better advantage I would have. It paid off.
The big picture here? This work ethic of mine crossed over into all areas of my life. Athletics, my studies (I was number one in my class, earned a ton of scholarships, Dean’s List 10/10 semesters, and a pretty great GPA…yeah, it definitely crossed over into my studies. Trust me, I’m no über genius…I had to work for those grades), my theatrical endeavors (No is never an option), making friends, my summer activities of training 1500 pound dairy steers to act like my puppet, and even more so lately, my love life.
So…as you can probably imagine, since this is something I’ve always been dedicated to, this work ethic I’ve spent my entire life developing (because I was born with it, remember), it annoys me to no end when other people have absolutely no work ethic whatsoever.
I’m talking Zero – Zilch – Nada.
How annoying is that when you have to pick up their slack because they are so damn lazy to do it themselves!!! It makes me want to spit like a camel in the middle of a dry desert.
“People often say to me ‘You don’t know what a wife and mother feels.’ ‘No,’ I say, ‘I don’t and I’m very glad I don’t.’ I am sick with indignation at what wives and mothers will do of the most egregious selfishness. And people call it all maternal or conjugal affection, and think it pretty to say so.”
Harsh words following so close to Mother’s Day from Florence Nightingale, who isn’t exactly the nicest nurse in the ward.
These women who are mothers and wives who do the most egregious selfishness act? They are the ones who bare the children with absolutely zero work ethic. I full-heartedly plan to not be one of those mothers. My kids will know how to work and earn what they work for. No easy riding for them, especially if I end up a multi-billionaire like I plan.
But enough about those kids. Let’s think about a few others things bound to put a smile on your face. Here are your Midweek Smiles, ladies and gentlemen:
- Give success a chance!
- One person can make a difference. You do, every day.
- Smile. It’s free!
- You are loving and lovable.
- Look forward more than you look back.
- You make so much time for others. Spend some on you.
- Expect good things. They’re on their way.
Keep working hard out there with whatever you’ve taken on, my fellow Jedi. Those who work hard will be rewarded in the end. Those who sluff off have what’s coming to them in due time.
Karma is a mean mother. She knows how to make her children work. She must be the evil sister to the Force. Most of the time, you want her on your side, but every now and then, she slaps you a good one (usually you’re expecting it, but it always catches me off guard when it happens.)
Try to keep both the Force and Karma on your side. Powerful allies, they are.